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Diet

If it fit your macros (IIFYM)

10-BEST DIET
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If you´ve been following bodybuilding or the fitness industry in general you may have heard some girls and guys following the “if it fit my macros” type of diet or nutrition program and most of them are fascinated with it.

For this diet strategy you need to understand what macronutrients are, we talked about this on a past post (click this link to learn more), for now we´re going to keep it quick and simple, macronutrients are divided into 3 categories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates this are the 3 macros that our body needs in big quantities.

Any diet that you want to follow or most of them are based on different macro ratios, for example a high protein diet is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fats, a keto diet is based on high fats, moderate protein and very low carbohydrates, in the case of IIFYM most of the time people follow a most balanced approach between the 3 macronutrients, to follow this the priority and focus is on macronutrients, not on calories so you need to find out what are your needs for each macro and make sure you hit those numbers every day. Lets say you need 45 grams of fat per day, 122 grams of protein and 183 grams of carbohydrates per day, once you got this numbers you only need to make sure that by the end of the day you meet those needs.

This diet or strategy is a great way to make your diet is sustainable for long periods of time even if you are losing weight because it gives you the opportunity to fit it unhealthy foods, you can have your favorite snacks, meals or desserts as long as you are able to hit your target for each macro, it gives you a lot more freedom. The problem is that a lot of people use this diet to fit in a lot of unhealthy foods, most of their foods choices come from fast food and highly processed foods, the reason for this is that they only focus on hitting those numbers, they´re only interested on hitting the macros and they don´t consider quality of food this is why they can eat pizza and donuts or ice cream for dessert every day, however the problem with this is that those unhealthy foods won´t make you feel full, the impact on satiety is not the same as the one you get from eating healthy foods.

Even when this strategy is a great option for weight loss, we can be pretty sure that if you hit your macros every day you will achieve your goal whether it´s weight loss, muscle growth or maintenance, so if your goal is only to build the physique you want then IIFYM is a great option, but if you´re also considering overall health then you need to think about food quality.

The benefit of this strategy is that it´s flexible and it gives you freedom, you can actually use it with different diets, if you´re vegetarian or vegan, if you´re keto you just need to do the math to get your macros according to your goal and the diet you want to follow and from there you can decide if you want to focus on healthy foods most of the time or if you want to eat more unhealthy foods.

We do need to mention that quality of food does matter, if you get all your macros from unhealthy foods you will get results regarding weight loss, muscle growth and maintenance, but with healthy sources you´ll get better results, some foods even when they help you hit the target for each macro are poor quality or incomplete sources so you won´t get the same positive impact and the impact on hormones is really different between healthy and fast foods or processed foods.

When you focus on healthy foods most of the time you´ll achieve your fitness goal and also improve your health at the same time, there are so many healthy options for each macro. If you want to get the best benefits then using IIFYM and focusing on quality of food, making healthy choices most of the time is the way to go, remember that you can fit some unhealthy snacks and desserts or even meals just don´t do it every day, this is what makes your diet flexible and sustainable.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Can you outexercise a bad diet?

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You may have asked yourself this question more than once, and maybe you´ve even searched it on the internet or talked about it and probably you ended up confused. Some people say that you can out-exercise a bad diet while others say it´s impossible, for me, it depends.

If your goal is to lose weight as long as you maintain a calorie deficit you will lose weight it doesn´t matter if you´re following a clean diet 100% of the time or if you´re eating unhealthy foods. At least at the beginning every one can lose weight just by eating less, but with time for some people it gets harder and harder to maintain the calorie deficit needed to continue losing weight and one of the reasons is that unhealthy foods are not as satiating as healthy whole foods, most of the highly processed foods are very high in calories so you don´t get to eat a lot of food while whole fresh foods are lower in calories, have more nutrients and are more satiating which gives you the opportunity to eat more while maintaining a calorie deficit.

Now, we need to mention insulin, people who are insulin sensitive will find it easier to out exercise a bad diet while people who are insulin resistant won´t be able to out exercise a bad diet. Our metabolism also plays an important role, people who have a fast metabolism or flexible metabolism have more freedom on their diet, they can eat a lot more unhealthy foods and exercise and still get amazing results while people with a slow metabolism or inflexible metabolism won´t get a positive result.

Hormones and metabolism play and important role on how food and exercise affects our body, the healthier we are the more freedom we have and the chances of out exercising a bad diet are higher when it comes to fitness goals like weight loss, maintenance or muscle growth.

Achieving a fitness goal like weight loss, muscle growth and maintenance is completely separate from optimal health, even when you can out exercise a bad diet and achieve your fitness goal that doesn´t mean you´ll be able to maintain optimal health just by exercising while you eat unhealthy foods. Every food choice has an impact on our health, the more unhealthy foods we eat for longer periods of time the more damage it does to our body and sooner or later we´ll pay the price. When it comes to health, we can not out exercise a bad diet.

I understand that we all want to enjoy life, we want to eat our favorite meals, snacks and desserts, this is why I always say to avoid them as much as possible, if you can choose healthy options 80% to 90% of the time and eat your favorite meals 20% or 10% of the time you´ll be fine. Also I need to mention that the healthier you are the more freedom you have, if you are on a healthy weight considering body composition, if you are fit and lean then you can have more of those foods you like, if you´re not as healthy you may need to be a lot more disciplined on all 4 principles of fitness for a couple of months so that you get healthier and then you can have more freedom.

We also need to mention the other 2 principles of fitness, sleep and stress. If you´re working on them making sure you keep stress levels low of follow strategies that help you lower stress every day and if you get enough high quality sleep the chances of out exercising a bad diet are higher. High levels of stress and poor quality or lack of sleep have a huge negative impact on our health and fitness goal, they affect negatively both of them so if you can lower stress and get high quality sleep every night your body is working properly which gives you the opportunity to have some unhealthy foods without getting a huge negative impact.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

How our lifestyle impacts sleep

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Fitness is a tool to help us live a meaningful life and it´s compromised of 4 principles: diet, exercise, sleep and stress. They all work together to give us the best results so everything we do affects all of them. From these 4 principles most we pay more attention to diet and exercise than to sleep and stress and they play a huge role on maintaining optimal health

We´ve seen in other posts that sleep is highly important, one night of poor sleep makes it harder for us to concentrate and perform, we feel tired and lack motivation, cravings for unhealthy food increase, it takes all hormones out of balance and it can lead to insulin resistance, now imagine if this lack of sleep or poor quality sleep becomes chronic, the negative impact on the long run is devastating.

Sleep is affected when we´re exposed to bright light at night, when the sun comes down everything is getting darker, this exposure to bright light sends the wrong signals to our brain through our eyes so it doesn´t release melatonin which is the hormone that makes us fall asleep. If we´re in front of a computer, laptop, cellphone, tv or any other electronic device before going to bed we´re sending the wrong information to our brain so it will takes us longer to fall asleep and we may not get the best quality sleep.

Stress is also important when it comes to getting enough high quality sleep, most of us live wight chronic stress thanks to school, our job, our teachers, our boss, classmates, coworkers, homework, projects, meetings, traffic plus relationships, finances. When we go to sleep our mind is busy thinking about how we´re going to pay the bills, how are we going to make it until the next pay check, how are we going to finish the project in three days, etc; all this stress do not let our brain and body relax and calm down so it´s difficult to fall asleep and to stay sleep, we may wake up constantly thanks to all those worries disrupting our sleep.

What we eat also impacts the quality and quantity of sleep, if you eat a big meal right before going to bed your body will be working on digesting all that food instead of preparing to sleep, all that food in your stomach may make you feel tired and lazy so you go to sleep and you may find it easier to fall asleep, but this doesn´t mean that your body is working and doing what it´s supposed to be doing during sleep. If that meal makes you feel bloated, constipated or any other digestive symptom then you will find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep making it a bad night sleep.

Exercise also plays a role in the quality and quantity of sleep, most people are sedentary so they´re not aware of this. Exercise improves both, quality and quantity of sleep and it doesn´t need to be something intense and long, even small walks will give you great benefits. With exercise the time of day also has an impact, if you do a moderate to high intensity workout it´ll be harder to fall asleep whether it´s cardio or resistance training. If you exercise in the morning you´ll find it easier to fall asleep.

We´ve talked before about habits and routines, this habits and routine apply to the 4 principles of fitness, in this case stress, diet and exercise all affect sleep. Some simple steps you can start following today are:

1.- Turn off all electronic devices at least 60 minutes before going to bed.

2.- Do breathing exercise before falling sleep to reduce stress.

3.- Make sure you have your last meal 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.

4.- Do some physical activity especially in the morning.

You can start with one of this steps and do it for a couple of weeks until you feel comfortable with it and then add another one. Our goal is to develop healthy habits that lead to a healthy lifestyle.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Supplements and health

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How many times have you done research to find out the best supplement that targets or works for your specific goal? How many times have you bought supplements just because someone told you or you heard that they make some kind of magic?

Unfortunately, supplements do not work by themselves, some research says most of them don´t work, some people do not recommend them while other research and experts do believe in them. My opinion, some of them work, very few.

As you may know by now I don´t like to take a lot of supplements, I prefer making sure that my diet is on point to get as much nutrients as possible. From my point of view and experience there´s no reason to take supplements or even worry about them if our diet is unhealthy.

Now, in other post we talked about supplements for fitness goals like weight loss and muscle growth so in this post we´re only going to talk about supplements for optimal health.

One of the most common supplements we all know is a multivitamin, we all know that our body needs certain amount of micronutrients which are vitamins and minerals, the problems with this is that most multivitamin brands the type or source of raw material, of vitamins and minerals that they use are not the best quality. There are certain sources or types that our body can not absorb and in most cases brands use this type because it´s cheaper. This is why some people say that supplements don´t work or that you´re only wasting your money because your body is not absorbing those vitamins and minerals so you lose all your money when you pee or sweat. We need to mention that supplements are expensive, most of them and if they use a good quality source the price will increase.

With multivitamins you´ll get almost the same amount of each vitamin and mineral, almost all brands are exactly the same, they are some brands that put more emphasis on some vitamins or minerals adding a little more but in general most of them are the same. If your nutrition is good, based on healthy and quality foods then you can get what your body needs through food for most micronutrients so it´s better to look for individual vitamins and minerals you may be deficient.

Many people are deficient on certain vitamins like D and K, some are deficient on certain minerals like Magnesium. Omega 3 is another supplement that can be really beneficial for people who doesn´t consume fish, and whey protein, casein, or collagen can also be beneficial for people who doesn´t get enough from food.

What you need to do is first talk with your doctor or health practitioner and find out which vitamins and mineral are you deficient and then decide if you want to add healthy foods that help you get to where you need or if you want to add supplements. In most cases creating a healthy diet is a great way to make sure you´re getting all the nutrients your body needs and it can be done by trying and adding foods you really enjoy eating and that contain certain nutrients, you combine those foods you enjoy eating and create a diet that works for you.

If you have any food allergy or sensitivity or there´s a food you just don´t like then this is when you can adjust and add supplements as needed. Nowadays there are so many options for supplements according to each type of diet. The type of diet you´re following also plays a huge role and the supplements you need, I do believe that someone who is vegan needs protein supplements since the protein they get from vegan sources is not the same quality and the body won´t be able to absorb it. Some who is carnivore don´t need protein supplements. Also we need to consider that each diet will give you more of some nutrients and low in others, people who are vegan will get different nutrition compared to someone who is carnivore. You also need to consider your drinks, if you drink just plain water or if you drink sparkling water, coffee or tea.

Even when the basics of nutrition apply to all of us we still need to be aware of how we feel and how we look and make the adjust necessary to optimize out health whether it´s through food or supplements.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Sleep and the brain

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We know we need to get enough high quality sleep every night, but how many times have you stopped for a moment and think what is going on while we sleep?

In fitness so many people talk about the benefits of sleep to help you lose weight and gain muscle but the benefits of sleep go far beyond that. While we´re sleeping our body is recovering and growing, but there´s a lot more going on especially in the brain.

During the day we go through a lot of situations, we need to pay attention to so many things going on. Sleep is one of those 4 principles of fitness that is so hard to study, and it´s so interesting. We can say that almost all animals sleep but why we need sleep is still a huge mystery.

During sleep our brain is supposed to be resting right? This is actually wrong, during sleep our brain is going through a lot of processes, there´s so much brain activity going on while we sleep. During this time our brain is processing all the information we got during day which are stored in the form of short-term memories, it takes all those experiences and information and test it, if the experience or information is relevant it stores it in another region of the brain so that we have access to it whenever we need it, long-term memory, if it´s not important it deletes all that information and experiences to make space for what´s going to come the next day.

This is why one of the best ways to learn something and actually remember it is to take the subject you´re studying, focus all your attention on it, whether it´s reading, writing, taking notes, or your favorite way to learn for about an hour or two and then take a nap. You´ll see you are able to remember a lot more just by focusing for a couple of hours and then resting than by spending hours and hours trying to learn something.

It also presents all with short stories, videos, or images that we call dreams, some experts that have been studying the brain think that our dreams help our brain make sense of all the experiences and information so that it can take it into pieces and put them together in a way that makes sense.

Our brain never rests and everything that´s going on our brain while we sleep is crucial for optimal health.

If we don´t get enough high quality sleep for just one night we can see the negative impact the next day, we are more forgetful, we´re not able to retain information, we need to read one sentence over and over, we can actually see that our brain is not as efficient as it should be, now just imagine what happens when this lack of sleep or poor sleep is chronic. Our Brain is never able to delete unimportant information, it can´t make all the cleaning and storage process and we just keep feeding it with more info until it´s a mess. Without adequate sleep our brain is not able to form and maintain the pathways that enables us to learn, think and concentrate.

For the brain to be able to go through all the process you need to make sure you´re going through all phases or stages of sleep for several cycles, plus you need to make sure it´s high quality. If you wake up and you feel tired it means you didn´t get high quality sleep even if you slept for 8 hours, you can get 6 hours of sleep and wake feeling energized and ready for the day, this means you get high quality sleep and your body and brain were able to go through all the processes to make sure you´re ready for the day to come.

Knowing that our brain is always working even when we´re sleeping can be a motivation to get enough quality sleep every night, knowing that if we want to learn faster and be able to concentrate and be more productive throughout the day we need sleep.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

The relationship between stress and health

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We all know someone who has been diagnosed with a chronic or immune disease, we all know someone who got sick after going through a hard time, in fact you may had gone through this a couple of times.

If you´ve been following me on social media and reading some of the posts you may know by now that for me, stress plays a huge role on maintaining optimal health. It´s been said that many of the visits to the doctor are caused by stress and we can agree with that.

We´re living very stressful times, must of us live with high levels of chronic stress and think this is how we´re supposed to live because that´s what we´ve seen our entire lives. We see our parents, uncles, aunts, etc; struggling financially worrying about how are they going to make it until the next pay check, how are they going to pay the bills, how are they going to buy some stuff that´s really needed. We see them depressed, anxious and worried because they know they can lose their job at any time, they complain about their boss and some coworkers. When we start school, high school or college we also start experiencing some stress, if there´s a class or teacher we don´t like we get anxious and going to class every day makes the entire day, week and month a terrible experience, if we´re bullied things get worse. And to make it all worse, the teachers and parents don´t seem to care.

If we add to this that most of us spend long hours in traffic to get to school or our job and back home and we know that if we don´t arrive on time they are going to discount the day from the next pay check or maybe we will lose the exam the levels of stress increase.

We spend most of our day worrying, anxious, with stress and this leads to diseases. It´s not normal to live with high levels of chronic stress, we get to a point where our body can´t handle all that stress and it starts to give up, this is when we start noticing that there´s something going wrong with our health, we start feeling bad and we start paying attention to the symptoms. When we get to this point things have been going wrong for a long time.

When we are stressed our body turns off some systems and functions in our body to make sure we can stay safe, it takes all the energy  and focus to make sure we are aware of everything going on and that we can fight or run to protect ourselves, but during this time all those systems and functions that are turn off make it easier for us to get sick, our body is not able to fight viruses, it´s like if some defense mechanisms are not working. This is why we get sick after we´ve gone through very tough situations.

We do need some stress, but we need it for short periods of time but when it´s for too long then our body keeps trying to maintain all the energy and focus in that awareness state and ready to run even when we´re sitting on the couch and not being chased by a tiger and for all this long time our body is not working efficiently. The systems that are supposed to protect us from viruses and toxins are not working.

Some experts have related stress as one of the causes of cancer, and even when stress may not be the one causing it directly it do has a negative impact on our body making it easier for the disease to advance more rapidly and this happens not only with cancer, because all systems and hormones on our body and not working in harmony. When the hormones and systems of our body get out of balance that´s when the problems begin and the more time we maintain this imbalance the more problems it will cause.

This is why making sure that you have a strategy or tool you can follow for a couple of minutes at every moment you need it, meditation and breathing are great tools you can use to lower stress, meditating for a couple of minutes in the morning and at night helps you clear your mind and get into a calm and relaxed state. When you´re in a stressful situation breathing exercises are great to help you lower stress and remain calm in that moment.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Motivation

The unhealthy relationship with food.

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If there´s one thing that has got us into a lot of trouble and has increased diseases is our relationship with food. Whether you want to accept it or not, we all know that the high amounts of highly processed foods we eat are the ones making us gain weight and even when we know they are unhealthy we can´t stop eating them.

Not so long ago it was really hard to find food, some people in certain regions didn´t have access to food so companies started to look for ways to make food accessible to everyone and now we´re surrounded by food, unfortunately the food we´re surrounded by is cheap which makes it accessible but it´s also full of unhealthy oils, sugar and added ingredients to make sure the products last on shelves and since companies need to keep selling those products are also full of extra ingredients that cause addiction to make sure you keep eating them.

Food has become our way to cope with stress, depression, anxiety, boredom, anger and I can´t deny that it makes us feel good instantly but we´re not thinking about the negative impact it has on our health in a short and long term. Some of us think about this negative consequence but we can´t stop eating it. Here are some points or questions you can ask yourself to know if you have an unhealthy relationship with food:

1.- Do you think about food all the time?

2.- Do you eat when you´re feeling sad, stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, bored?

3.- You want to lose weight and you try the latest fad diet? You go through this over and over so you´ve tried more than one of these diets

4.- You start your diet and commit to only eating healthy or clean foods and when you eat an unhealthy food or snack you feel guilty.

5.- You eat based on your emotions and based on hunger?

If you answered yes to this questions or most of them then you have an unhealthy relationship with food, don´t feel guilty or like a failure because you´re not alone and it´s not your fault. The era or times we´re living now are what lead you to that unhealthy relationship but it´s withing your hands to change it. To change your relationship with food there´s one step you can start taking today:

1.- Every time you want to eat something, when cravings come or catch yourself eating stop for a moment and think about why you want to eat or why are you eating. Is it because you´re really hungry? Is it because you´re following a diet where you need to eat every 2 or 3 hours and it´s time to eat regardless of whether you´re hungry or not? Is it because you´re bored or stressed? Is it because you had a fight with a friend or family member? Because you´re stressed? Write in a piece of paper the reason why you´re eating, write everything you´re feeling in that moment.

2.- When you find yourself looking for something to eat stop and wait some couple of minutes, drink water, go for a walk and see if the cravings disappear.

This 2 steps may seen so simple but they are hard to put into practice, some of us are not aware at how many times we eat during the day this includes meals, desserts, snacks and in some of them we´re not even hungry. Being aware of when you´re eating and why is the first step to change that unhealthy relationship, then when you find yourself eating or looking for something to eat is better to drink water or tea o go for a walk to give some time and see if it´s really hunger or not, if it disappears you´re not hungry.

You also need to realize that yes you do need to eat healthy food most of the time but this doesn´t mean that you need to follow strict diets 100% of the time, it´s about making healthy choices most of the time but having the freedom to eat your favorite meal, dessert or snack and really enjoy it without feeling guilty or ashamed, without blaming yourself for lacking will power or being so weak. Focus on healthy foods and know that you have the freedom to enjoy those foods you love when you´re with friends or family or even when you´re on you´re own every now and then.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you have an unhealthy relationship with food and what action you´re taking to improve it.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

What is the best diet?

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How many hours have you spend trying to find the best diet? You may have been searching the internet, read magazines, ask as many people as possible including friends, family, your doctor or health care professional you nutritionist or dietitian, etc.

Many of us spend too much time searching for the best diet to achieve our fitness goal, and just a couple of weeks or days after we start following one we find another so we don´t stay long enough with one diet to actually see how our body responds.

The truth is that there´s not a best diet for all of us, not a single diet will work the same and will give the same results to 2 or more people, we´re all different so we need to find what works best for us.

Even when the basics of nutrition apply to all, we still need to make some adjustments to create our own diet or nutrition program.

The first things to consider is to focus on eating whole, fresh foods and eliminate or avoid unhealthy foods like sweets, junk, processed, refined and fast foods is the first step. We´ve talked a lot about how refined sugar and refined carbohydrates are unhealthy and also how seed oils and trans fats are also unhealthy so by eliminating processed and refined foods you eliminate these unhealthy ingredients. Once you feel comfortable and you´ve develop the habit of eating healthy whole foods you can start making some adjustments to make your nutrition program better.

The second step is to decide which type of diet or which macronutrient ratio works best for you, you may want to follow a more balanced diet between proteins, fats and carbohydrates or you may want to follow a low carbohydrate-high protein or you may want a ketogenic diet, for this you need to make the adjustments necessary and set macro ratios according to our diet.

For a keotgenic diet fats can go from 70% to 75% with 10% to 5% of carbohydrates and the rest of protein, or you can follow a modified keto where you can have 60% fats 30% protein and 10% carbohydrates.

You also need to listen to your body and be aware of how it responds and how you feel with everything you eat, for some of us our body can´t digest or use properly some foods including healthy foods, for example some people can´t digest properly foods like cauliflower which can cause bloating or other side effects or some people can get allergic response to some foods like dairy so you need to pay attention to this and avoid them. There are so many food options available from where you can choose from for each of the 3 macronutrients.

If you consider the function of each macronutrient the best diet is one that focuses on real, fresh ingredients and avoid all unhealthy foods (sweets, junk, processed and fast foods) if you want to go to a more restrictive diet then a ketogenic or modified keto. One that is high in healthy fats, with the right amount of fiber, moderate protein and low carbohydrates. This type of diet will help to lose fat and maintain a healthy weight if this is your goal.

If you want to go even deeper and think about how your body works then you need to focus on micronutrients also which for me is the best way to go. Your body needs vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and fatty-acids, from here you need to think about each vitamin, each mineral, each amino-acid and fatty-acid here you need to consider the amount your body needs of each then you can look for foods that contain those nutrients and choose the ones you like more. This is what I consider nowadays for my diet 80% of the time (I also love some unhealthy foods and snacks so I have 20% free for those 😊). When you focus on nutrients you´re giving your body what it needs while enjoying life a lot more, you understand how everything works and you have more options from where to choose from so you eat foods you like and you can eat until you´re full so you don´t feel hungry.

You need to make sure that the diet or nutrition program is one that you can follow for long periods of time, for the rest of your life actually. This includes going out with friends or family, going on vacations or a job meeting or trip, someone cook for you or you cook your own meals. You need to consider all this and think about if you´re going to be able to maintain it in the long run and realize that you can still have your favorite meals, dishes or cheat meals every now and then (if there´s a way to prepare your favorite meal and dessert you can enjoy it a lot more).

It´s all about understanding how food works and how your body use it to maintain optimal health and support your fitness goals. When you understand how things work it´s easier to make healthier decisions knowing that you have the freedom to enjoy your favorite meals, snacks and desserts. It´s about feeling and looking great while having balance.

Let us know by leaving a comment on Twitter what diets have you followed and what where your results.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Why lack of sleep can make you gain weight

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If you want to make your weight loss journey easier and maintain a lean physique then you need to pay attention to the quality and quantity of sleep.

We´ve mentioned before that weight loss is not only about calories, in fact it is more about hormones and metabolism and sleep plays a huge role on maintaining all hormones and systems on your body in balance. Lack of sleep has a negative impact on your brain and body, this include your weight.

There´s so much research and studies done about the relationships between sleep and weight and it´s clear that when you don´t get enough high quality sleep you gain weight or at least it is harder for you to stay on track, the reason for this is hormones.

Some hormones regulate your hunger and appetite, these hormones are leptin and ghrelin, when leptin is up you have less cravings and you eat less, when ghrelin is up you have more cravings and you eat more. With lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep leptin decreases and ghrelin increases this is why it is harder to avoid unhealthy foods and to follow a diet when you didn´t get enough high-quality sleep.

Lack of sleep increases cravings for the unhealthy foods you need to avoid, highly processed and refined foods that are loaded with sugars, trans fats and unhealthy oils and if you eat them you´ll get into a cycle that is hard to leave thanks to the signals this food sends to your body including your brain. We also need to consider that you not only have cravings for unhealthy foods and in most cases you´ll end up eating them, you also tend to eat more.

Lack of sleep or poor sleep make you feel tired, without energy to exercise so chances are you´ll skip the work out of the day and if you don´t exercise, you eat unhealthy foods and you eat more you have the recipe to gain weight.

If your body is working properly and everything is in balance it´s really simple to lose weight and maintain optimal health and also maintain a healthy weight and to keep all hormones and systems in balance you need to make sure that your diet is sending the right messages to your body and enough high quality sleep makes this possible in an easier way.

Leptin and ghrelin are just two of the hormones, there are other hormones like growth hormone and insulin that also play an important role on weight and optimal health. There are studies that show that one night of poor sleep increases insulin and when insulin is high then you don´t burn fat. For a healthy weight loss and to make it sustainable you need to make sure that you are losing fat and maintaining lean muscle mass, insulin blocks fat burn.

One night of poor sleep takes all hormones out of balance which makes it impossible to lose weight and if it is chronical the negative impacts are worse.

On future posts we´ll talk about why weight loss is not about self-control and will power, it´s about making sure that your body works properly, this means that you need to improve your health, to maintain optimal health you need to develop certain healthy habits and routines which includes enough high quality sleep, this is key to make sure that all hormones are working properly which is what makes your weight loss possible in a simple, effortless and enjoyable way.

Finding ways, tools and strategies that help you get enough high quality sleep is important, having a sleep schedule, exercising especially in the morning, using breathing techniques are some of the tools you can use to improve sleep.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you had pay attention at how you feel after a night of poor sleep, have you realized that you eat less, that you have more cravings and you more?

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

The impact of stress on our health

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When we talk about health and we want to make some changes we start with food and exercise but, stress plays a huge role on improving and maintaining optimal health. If you want to take your health seriously then you need to know some of the impacts stress has.

We´ve know that some stress is good, is beneficial for our body and we need it to maintain optimal health and get stronger but, the problem is with chronic stress because it takes almost all hormones and systems of our body out of sync and when they´re out of sync our body is not working properly and this leads to health problems.

We´ve talk on other posts about what is stress and the types of stress, we´ve also mentioned that food can increase stress by harming the gut bacteria. Stress has an impact on our gut, hormones, inflammation levels and all this creates a cascade of positive or negative effects on our body and brain.

From the moment you wake up to the moments you go to sleep you´re running from one activity to another even if they´re all routines you follow to get to school or job, get your homework and projects done, go to meetings, have lunch, come back home and every single day is full of stressful situations this type of stress is toxic for your body and since you go under this stress every day it gets chronic keeping it high for long periods of time and this is what leads to most visits to the doctor.

We can increase stress in our bodies in so many different ways, from what we eat, to the quality of sleep we get, from our environment, social media, news. Being surrounded by negativity including negative people. Since stress can be increased in so many ways it can seem impossible to escape from it but when you realize that it affects your hormones and systems and it may the cause of you not being able to function at your best then you can start taking actions.

We know that stress is a response from our body to keep us safe, this is how our ancestors survived but nowadays it´s constant and this constant stress affects our gut, our hormones and increase inflammation. It can affect our gut directly by the food we eat, if we eat healthy nutritious food then it can use all those nutrients and send them to the right places on our body, it regulates metabolism and also neurotransmitters which is why food affects our mood.

Stress also has an impact on our hormones it increases cortisol and adrenaline which can lead anxiety if it stays high chronically, when cortisol is high oxytocin is low, oxytocin is the love hormone and this imbalance in hormones can lead to problems with relationships.

Chronic inflammation is linked to chronic diseases and inflammation is a response of chronic stress, it´s the defense that our immune system sends to defend our body from bacteria, virus or stress.

It´s clear that stress has a highly negative impact on all hormones and systems of our body so we need to focus and work on lowering it to maintain optimal health. One great way to reduce stress is exercise, breathing exercises are also helpful, stop watching the news all day and reduce the time you spend on social media. Another way is to stay focus on the activity you have at hand and live in the present, stress also comes from staying mentally on the past which leads to depression and thinking about the future which leads to anxiety so focus on staying in the present moment.

Stress is also created on our mind, our mind creates and all kind of thought and most of them are not real, what you focus on is how you feel and what you attract so if you catch your mind thinking on the future and creating worries or if it´s stuck in the past bring it to the present and take a couple of minutes to do some breathing exercises to calm you down and don´t forget to exercise at least 5 days a week and make sure you get high quality sleep every night.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you know what´s the biggest cause of stress in your life and what strategy or tool is the one you use to lower it.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam